The Invisible Man – H.G. Wells

January 1, 2018 § Leave a comment

First published in the English in 1897

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A stranger comes to a quiet little inn somewhere in the country. He’s wrapped from top to toe. The innkeeper’s wife finds this somewhat odd, but given that the stranger offers quite a handsome sum, she offers him a room and some food in return. The stranger is a curiosity—he keeps himself wrapped up despite being indoors and warm, as if he is always cold. He’s desperate to get his things from the station, insisting that his things are sent for immediately, which creates some unease with the villagers.

Some odd things happen around the village, and the villagers are convinced that these happenings have to do with the stranger’s arrival. They attempt to confront the stranger, only to see him slowly strip and disappear before their very eyes!

The Invisible Man is a short enough book, and quite a good one to end the year with. The language was simple and un-flowery, the characters rather interesting. Griffin, the scientist who became The Invisible Man, was especially intriguing. But perhaps the one person I found most interesting of all, was H.G. Wells himself.

As Griffin talked to his friend Kemp about how he came to turn invisible, and his first experiences as an invisible man, I found myself thinking, “How is it that Wells managed to think of all these things?” Things like stumbling down the stairs because he couldn’t see his feet, or mud stains betraying the shape of his invisible feet, or food that had yet to be assimilated being visible (and frightening, I believe, given that the food would be “floating”).

This is my first time reading Wells, and I don’t usually fare well with books that come from a century ago. But I feel that perhaps my reading tastes have changed somewhat, or perhaps Wells just reads well for me. I’m now rather interested to read the other book that he’s so famous for—The Time Machine.

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